Do I need OSHA or ANSI safety signs?

When shopping for safety signs, you may see compliance standards such as OSHA 1910.145 or ANSI Z535-2011(R2017), but do you know which one you need or what the differences are between the standards?

The first thing to know is the difference between OSHA and ANSI. These two organizations have set standards that guide the design of most safety signs.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government operated public health agency that has regulatory and enforcement authority over workplace safety in the United States, including the use of accident prevention signage.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is an independent organization that oversees and accredits consensus standards for a range of needs, including safety signs.

OSHA has adopted the ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) standard for safety signs, making both newer ANSI formats and the older formats thought of as OSHA formats permissible under OSHA standards.

  • Osha Formats

OSHA sets requirements for many specific hazards, which must be observed. If you require signage, most SafetySign.com products that conform with ANSI Z535 standards will meet OSHA signage requirements.

Understanding the difference between ANSI Z35, ANSI Z535, and OSHA

OSHA: Under OSHA 1910.145, there are three classifications of signs, along with the emblem for slow-moving vehicles. These are danger, caution, and safety instruction signs. This standard outlined sign colors and the nature of sign wording. OSHA later adopted ANSI Z35-1968 and Z535-2011(R2017) standards.

ANSI Z35: Approved in September 1968, ANSI Z35-1968 has five classifications of signs. These are danger, caution, safety instruction, directional, and informational signs. This standard outlined sign design, colors, wording, lettering, and construction.

ANSI Z535: Approved 2011 and revised in 2017 as ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) supersedes ANSI Z35 and has eight classifications of signs. These are danger, warning, caution, notice, general safety, fire safety, directional arrow signs, and special signs. ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) also defines sign size, text size, and viewing distance of a sign. OSHA refers to this standard for these definitions.

What is the ANSI format for safety signs?

ANSI safety sign formats are based on the ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) standard. This standard has three important elements, including a safety header, images, and the sign legend. Learn more here.

What is the OSHA format for safety signs?

OSHA formats for safety signs include specific use of safety headers, colors, and sign legends. These are OSHA standards and have come to incorporate the ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) standard. Learn more here.

SafetySign.com does not recommend or specify the use of a specific safety sign because it does not have knowledge of the hazard(s) our customers are identifying. It is the customer’s sole responsibility to identify the hazard(s) that may be present and select one or more signs (stock or custom) that accurately identify their specific hazard(s) and complies with any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, any worksite specific rules or regulations and/or any applicable safety standards (including, without limitation, ANSI and/or OSHA standards). SafetySign.com disclaims any and all liability (excluding liability for our Product Warranty contained in our Terms and Conditions) for any sign selected by a customer and shall not be responsible for any personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of signs purchased from it or for the independent interpretation made of any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, any worksite specific rules or regulations, and/or any applicable safety standards (including, without limitation, ANSI and/or OSHA standards). Customer shall indemnify and hold SafetySign.com and its corporate parent and its officers, directors and affiliates harmless from and against any and all claims, loss or expense (including attorneys’ fees) arising from or related to the purchase and use by customer or any third party of any sign purchased by customer from SafetySign.com.

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